IPS Blog

From the Frontlines: May 10th, 2010

BP oil spill. From the Seattle Times.The seven stupidest statements made about the BP oil hemorrhage.

BP’s first plan to contain the spill failed, but Alabama and Mississippi lawmakers still support offshore drilling.

Glenn Greenwald has an impressive roundup of articles questioning Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan’s credentials. But another Salon author wonders if the “liberal case against” Kagan is overblown.

In Iraq, at least 65 people were killed and 243 injured in a series of attacks. And the Taliban announced a new offensive starting today, against foreign troops, security contractors, and the Afghans that work with them.

Community health care clinics are a main source of care for the U.S. poor. With the reform bill’s passage, what is their future?

Left-wing parties celebrate victory in Germany.

In Greece, protesters focus their wrath on the IMF, as a “majority of Greeks not only see it as the harbinger of harsh economic reforms but the symbol of foreign occupation.”

From the Frontlines: May 7th, 2010

Deregulation and carcinogens, racial foreclosure gaps, and the Fed audit: today’s news and notes.

Might want to reconsider how “microwaveable” your Tupperware is: Nicholas Kristof highlights a new report that shows the connections between industry deregulation and increased cancer rates.

Why is the foreclosure rate three times higher among blacks than whites? IPS scholar Dedrick Muhammad appears on CNN to discuss.

Danny Schecter’s new movie, Plunder, shows that the story of our economic collapse is even darker than you’d think. Truthdig has the preview; we’ve got the film screening in DC.

After the BP oil spill, 55 percent of Floridians now oppose offshore drilling. Almost a year ago, 55 percent were for it. Via Think Progress.

Score one for government transparency: Dean Baker reports that Sen. Bernie Sanders reached a deal with Sen. Chris Dodd to get the GAO to audit the Fed. “Any interested journalist, academic, blogger or generic snoop can read through the data and find exactly how much money Goldman Sachs got, at what interest rate, with what collateral and when they paid it back.”

New Yorkers will gather outside of Israeli diamond magnate Lev Leviev’s New York store this Saturday, to protest his involvement in human rights violations and settlement building in Gaza.

How will the British elections affect Africa and the Global South?

A Blog for the Rest of Us

One of our goals here at the Institute is to link scholarship and social movements. Our staff members travel all around the United States and the world to connect with laborers, farmers, organizers, officials, and activists who speak up for change.

The goal of this blog is to continue these linkages. You want to see a more peaceful, just, and sustainable world, and so do we.

The IPS Blog will:

  • Highlight issues fellows, associate fellows, and allies are tackling
  • Give you firsthand accounts of major social-movement events, from the G20 demonstrations to Department of Labor meetings to fact-finding missions in Colombia
  • Converse about problems, actions, and ideas you, as progressives, find important
  • Be your resource for news and commentary you don’t see elsewhere

We encourage your feedback, questions, and suggestions. Email [email protected] or leave your thoughts in the comments.

Campaigning at Dairy Farms

Low milk prices having been hammering the nation’s dairy farmers, including those in New York’s 24th congressional district, where Republican Candidate Richard Hanna is challenging Democrat Michael Arcuri. According to a May 7 article in the Little Falls, NY Evening Times, Hanna said the area is at a “crossroads in terms of farming.” New York dairy farmer Gretchen Maine’s March 29 OtherWords op-ed addressed some of the same challenges. “Dairy farmers don’t want a handout, just the fair prices we deserve,” Maine wrote.

Assessing the BP Oil Disaster

“This disaster is a wakeup call,” Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune said during a visit to the Gulf Coast. “We need to stop the expansion of offshore drilling, immediately.” You can read the rest of his statement online, as well as his recent OtherWords op-ed, which underscored the need for Congress to reinvigorate the Clean Water Act. We are planning to run an op-ed by Daphne Wysham, a column by Donald Kaul, and a cartoon by Khalil Bendib about the BP oil disaster in our next editorial package on Monday May 10.

Terrorists’ Right to Bear Arms

The Huffington Post’s Dan Froomkin reports that Senators Lindsay Graham (R-SC) and Susan Collins (R-ME) balked during a hearing at supporting new legislation that would prevent suspected terrorists from buying guns. Also, Froomkin noted, a “Government Accountability Office report out today disclosed that from February 2004 through February 2010, individuals on the terrorist watchlist were involved in firearm or explosives background checks 1,228 times. Of those, 1,119, or 91 percent, were allowed to proceed because there were no legally disqualifying factors.” But never mind that, “We’re talking about a constitutional right here,” Graham said. It’s a surprising position to take so soon after the failed Times Square bombing. And a good reason to read William A. Collins OtherWords column, Gotta Get Me a Gun.

Family-Unfriendly

Arizona’s controversial immigration law may damage a lot more than the state’s image, as Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva argued in his OtherWords op-ed. It could also break up families. As Michelle Chen reports on the Colorlines blog, a new study by child advocacy group First Focus finds that more than five million American children have at least one parent who is an undocumented immigrant. “Arizona’s new racial profiling legislation could open up countless opportunities for local law enforcement to break up families by putting undocumented parents on the fast-track to deportation,” Chen writes.

Priority Check

The War Resisters League produced a pie chart that shows how much of our tax revenue funds warfare. By the group’s calculations, the government channels 54 percent of the $2.65 trillion it spends each year on military activities. In his recent OtherWords op-ed, Joe Volk suggested taxpayers ask lawmakers this question: “Will Congress keep Pentagon and military contractors rolling in dough, or will it begin to invest in real security to protect the United States from the threats of the 21st century?”

But Would Restaurants Have to Serve Libertarians?

Dr. Rand Paul, son of Texas Republican Congressman Ron Paul, is a leading candidate to replace Kentucky’s outgoing Republican Senator, Jim Bunning. He’s seizing on the same citizen anger that fuels the tea partiers (Sarah Palin has endorsed him), but as Kentucky’s largest daily newspaper, the Courier-Journal, reports, “despite his independent thinking, much of what he stands for is repulsive to people in the mainstream.” Were it up to Dr. Paul, for instance, it would be perfectly legal for a restaurant to display a “Whites Only” sign. The Courier-Journal reported of Dr. Paul, “he personally would not agree with any form of discrimination,” but believes it is our right as private citizens. In America, Dr. Paul maintains every business should be permitted to conclude help wanted ads with “No gays or Hispanics.” The wide support of Rand Paul loudly confirms OtherWords columnist William A. Collins’ suspicion that America needs to do a lot more than elect an African-American president to create intercultural harmony.

No More Torture

The Guardian, a British newspaper, reports that former “senior officers” in the MI6–the UK’s version of the CIA–are now criticizing U.S. policies and officials for using torture. “Hindsight is easy, but if Bush had placed more emphasis on bringing those responsible to justice rather than on declaring an unwinnable ‘war’ against an undefined enemy, things might have turned out very differently,” they said. William A. Collins called for President Obama to set us on a torture-free path, in his February 22 OtherWords column, in which he noted that American officials appear to be resisting investigations of United States torture policies.

Page 233 of 235« First...102030...231232233234235